(So this was supposed to be Friday’s post, but I was traveling. It will still work today!)
The lovely Stickie, my exercise model, so named because of her svelte figure and her existence on a series of post-it notes, is demonstrating how to do a curl. Curls are an excellent exercise for biceps, but I also like to use them to check out postural issues.
To begin, you need to stand up with good posture. As you know, this means that your ears line up with your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles. Your abs are engaged (of course!). It is good to check yourself out from the side in a mirror while doing this exercise to ensure that everything stays aligned.
As you exhale, you lift the dumbbells from your sides up to your shoulders. While this sounds simple enough, your body may not agree. It tends to cheat by letting the elbows slide back behind your torso or out to the sides. It likes to recruit other muscles to help the biceps, resulting in a torso that sways backwards and forwards. Also, if you choose a weight that is heavier than optimal, you will find that your shoulder will creep forward (in trainer-speak, you will find your humeral head is no longer centered in the socket), which strains all the nice little muscles that stabilize your shoulder joint.
As you inhale, you lower the weights back down to your sides, resisting gravity the whole way to maintain control of the weights. I know it is tempting to let the weights just fall back down, but you build a lot of strength controlling that descent.